Zanotti wins Maybank in Malaysia as Willett fades

Fabrizio Zanotti eagled the final hole to win by a shot from David Lipsky

Fabrizio Zanotti wins Maybank Championship
Fabrizio Zanotti wins Maybank Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay eagled the final hole of the Maybank Championship to card a closing 63 and win by a shot from David Lipsky of the USA.

Fabrizio Zanotti began the final round of the Maybank Championship at Saujana G&CC in Malaysia six shots off the lead held by Masters champion Danny Willett but a closing 63 was enough for the Paraguayan to claim a second European Tour victory.

Zanotti began his charge on the front nine with birdies on the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th holes. Despite turning in 32, victory still seemed unlikely for the 33-year-old as those in the groups behind were also playing some great golf. David Lipsky of the USA in particular, as he reeled off four straight birdies from the 10th.

But Zanotti kept his foot to the floor on the run for home. He made gains at the 13th, 15th and 17th holes. He then played two great shots to the par-5 18th and rolled home a 15-foot putt for eagle. That set a clubhouse total of 19-under that nobody following was able to match and he was champion.

3 Talking points from the Maybank Championship

1 – This was Fabrizio Zanotti’s second European Tour triumph, following the 2014 BMW International Open. The win represented quite a turnaround in form for the Paraguayan. He came into the tournament having missed three straight cuts in the Middle East.

"It feels really good to be a winner again. I’ve been working a lot and I was not in my best run of form, missing three cuts in a row, but that’s in the past and today I’m a winner again and it feels great," he said. “I think today was the best round of my career.”

2 – Danny Willett began the final day at Saujana with a three shot lead but he struggled to find his form over the closing 18 holes. The Englishman dropped five shots in a round of 73 and ended the week in a tie for 5th with China’s Li Haotong.

Danny Willett swing sequence:

3 – It was a good week for David Lipsky as he secured his place in the WGC – Mexico Championship at the start of March. The American closed with a 67 to claim second place on his own. He had a chance to catch Zanotti but was unable to birdie the par-5 last.

“I’m really happy with this week all in all. My goal was to finish top three or so to try and lock myself up for the WGC in Mexico and I did that so I’m pretty proud of the way I handled myself this week,” he said. “There was a lot of slope and grain on these greens and late in the day they get a little bit bumpy so it was hard for me to hold the line and all you can do is put a good stroke on it. I did the best I could do. Hats off to Fabrizio because he played great – 63 in the final round, most of the time that’s going to get the job done so I can’t think too much about it."

Maybank Championship Saujana G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Feb 9-12 Purse €2,770,000 par 72

1    Fabrizio Zanotti (Par)    70    69    67    63    269    €461,689 2    David Lipsky (USA)    68    67    68    67    270    €307,790 3    Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 69    63    73    66    271    €173,410 4    Alex Levy (Fra)        69    68    67    68    272    €138,507 T5    Li Haotong (Chn)        71    69    68    65    273    €107,204 T5    Danny Willett (Eng)    66    67    67    73    273    €107,204 T7    Anirban Lahiri (Ind)    69    68    69    68    274    €76,179 T7    Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 70    65    70    69    274    €76,179 T9    Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha) 70    69    66    71    276    €58,727 T9    Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 68    68    71    69    276    €58,727

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?